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Why donate blood
- Australia has one of the safest blood supply systems in the world.
- You can donate whole blood every 12 weeks.
- O negative blood is universal and can be given to anyone.
- Plasma and platelet donations can be made every 2 weeks.
- Every whole blood donation can save 3 lives.
- 1 in 3 people will need blood. Only 1 in 30 gives blood.
- Australia needs over 27,000 blood donations every week.
- 470mL of blood is collected when you give whole blood.
- Within 24-48 hours of giving blood, your blood volume is completely restored.
- Giving blood only takes about an hour.
- Plasma donations can be used to make 18 different products.
- Red blood cells have a shelf life of 42 days.
- 34% of donated blood goes towards helping cancer patients.
- You can start giving blood at 16.
- The blood service has been collecting blood for over 80 years.
- You can donate double platelets – helping twice as many people.
- Platelets have a shelf life of only 5 days.
The majority of donated blood goes to people with cancer, as well as people who have suffered traumatic accidents, burns or those undergoing surgery.
Plasma contains very important proteins, nutrients and clotting factors which help to prevent and stop bleeding. It is the most versatile component of your blood and donated plasma makes up to 17 life-saving products that help patients with trauma, burns and blood diseases.
Find out more about donating plasma.
Your platelet donation helps patients with low platelet count or non-functioning platelets who are bleeding or at high risk of bleeding. This may occur during high dose chemotherapy, bone marrow transplantation, major surgery, liver disease or severe trauma.
Platelets play a crucial role in ensuring our blood can clot when needed. Platelets also contain growth factors that aid in the repair of damaged body tissue.
Find out more about donating platelets.
Blood has a short shelf life
All blood components have a short shelf life, creating the need for a constant blood supply.
- Platelets - up to 5 days
- Red cells- up to 42 days
- Plasma - up to one year